Highbourn & Allan's Cays - updated
Lynn & Mike ..around the world
Mike Drinkrow & Lynn v/d Hoven
Mon 15 Jun 2009 00:32
24:44.99N 076:50.31W Highbourne to Allan's Cays
On exiting the Exuma park we headed up to Highbourne Cay, by passing Norman's as we were "on a mission" ... there are no shops in the Exuma Park and provisions were running low. Highbourn is a private island with a very nice marina where we were able to get everything we needed including reasonably priced fuel, more bug spray & more whiskey. The island does not have a runway, and so is serviced by a seaplane from Nassau. Close to the yacht, we could watch the plane land and taxi up to the beach to drop off the passengers. It has both floats and wheels, and can land almost anywhere.
On the never-ending maintenance side, Mike and Willy had a big job straightening out one of the anchor blades. The dinghy rope got caught in the propeller during anchoring and as luck would have it, the angle and tension were just enough to cause damage. Working under water is very difficult, somewhat like being in zero gravity with no leverage, so they were exhausted. As we were out of the park, the great conch hunt was on again, and while the guys worked, I hunted! Mike has totally mastered the art of getting the animal out of the shell - a slit cut at a certain angle in a certain spot on the shell, then the insertion of a flat bladed knife, again at a certain angle, to cut loose the "foot" and the body just slips out! Much easier and neater than the "hammer" approach!. We made a great conch and onion stew for dinner . The reef here is fairly unspoilt and Willy and I dived out a large number of "sea potato's" that had been killed and eaten by rays or larger reef fish. We have been collecting a lot of other interesting shells, including baby conch and sand dollars.
From Highbourne we drifted over to Allan's Cays ...literally drifted... there are very strong currents here and it pushed us across the bank - Willy and I hung off the back of Indigo with our masks and snorkels and had a look at the coral as we moved along. Allan's Cays are a small group of uninhabited islands, famous for their iguana's. The Cyclura cychlura is one of the most endangered iguana species in the world, but they have found safety here. There must be over one hundred living in the rocks and the small beaches. They seem very curious and come out to see you as you come to the beach. I suspect they have been fed by other yachtsmen and are looking for food.